There has long been controversy on whether or not you should use baby powder on your babe's behind. The American Academy of Pediatrics have warned that the teeny tiny particles can get trapped in an infant's small lungs and parents should be very careful with its use. Just last week, a lawsuit discovered that talc is linked to cancer. Pretty scary stuff! The court awarded $72 million to the plaintiff in the lawsuit, making this the first case in history against Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Considering that talc is banned in the European Union and has limited commercial use in Canada (especially in baby ware), it gives one pause in using the product.
I once calculated how much I'd spent in diapers between my children. The price was staggering. In the beginning, I bought the crunchiest disposable diapers available. After that messy lesson, I switched to a popular brand that cost nearly as much. I never really thought about what I would do if I couldn't pay for them, but where can you get free diapers for your baby? It makes sense to wonder — it cost me thousands of dollars to hold my baby's crap.
To help support new and expecting moms, Target is giving away a free Welcome Kit when you set up a baby registry. The kit includes $50+ worth of coupons and free diapers. After creating your registry, visit the Target service desk to pick up your free Welcome Kit. Items may vary by stores, but may include: Munchkin bottle, Lansinoh samples, MAM Newborn pacifier, Honest Wipes, and Diapers sample pack, Baby Bag and much more!
Why talc free? There is some controversy regarding the safety of talcum powder. Back in the day, it contained asbestos (a known carcinogen), but from the 70's forward, all talc used in bath and body products in the US is asbestos free. So what's the issue? Some believe that even the asbestos free talc is carcinogenic and studies have been unable to prove otherwise. Bits from the American' Cancer Society's page "Talcum Powder and Cancer" like this:
However, the controversial ingredient has been linked to cancer when it comes to feminine hygiene. Though findings have been mixed, some studies report that women who use talcum powder in the genital area could be at a higher risk for ovarian cancer. It is said that powder can travel through the vagina into the ovary, but none of the findings have been concrete.
Currently, Baby Box University is available state-wide in Alabama, Colorado, New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. It’s offered in several more states on a county by county basis. Check here for the latest list of participating states. Or, check with your doctor, hospital or county/city service divisions or email The Baby Box to find out if it’s available in your area.
I’m seconding the concern about starches as body powders. As a nurse, I know that starches do feed yeasts that can thrive on moist skin: along any sweaty crease like the groin, under breasts, under yer butt cheeks, etc. Hospitals once used talc, then starch-based powders, now mostly neither. I’m not being a nay-sayer. Just offering a word of caution. If ya get yeasty, maybe don’t put starch there. Can’t speak to powder combos with baking soda or whatever though.
Lab studies: In studies done in the lab, animals are exposed to a substance (often in very large doses) to see if it causes tumors or other health problems. Researchers might also expose normal cells in a lab dish to the substance to see if it causes the types of changes that are seen in cancer cells. It’s not always clear if the results from these types of studies will apply to humans, but lab studies are a good way to find out if a substance might possibly cause cancer.
More than likely you have items in your pantry that are moisture absorbing. Why not use it to make your own homemade baby powder? The following foodstuff can be used as a standalone, or mixed together to create a recipe of your choosing. Some of the more exotic items may not be on hand, but are easily available at health food stores. Add essential oils for a delightful scent and aromatherapy benefits. Just be sure to keep the powder in an airtight container for freshness. The only side effect of your homemade mix will be saving dollars!
Sometimes, a written letter or email telling a diaper company about your baby’s birth (especially if you have multiples) asking for a product to sample can result in some free diapers. I wouldn’t really recommend going the “sob story” route too strong, but companies want to know you, their customer. If you ever have faulty diapers, be sure to contact them as most have a guarantee and will replace your defective diapers for free.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank provides free diapers in partnership with local charities and national businesses such as Pampers and Huggies Every Little Bottom Program assistance. Many of the cloth or disposable diapers distributed are available to low income because the box may have been damaged by the retailer, but the products themselves are in great condition. Some may refer to them as salvaged. Atlanta Georgia (404) 892-3333.